Anger: the domino effect

Posted on: May 5, 2007

Anger: The Domino Effect


Recently, a child 11yr old girl was brought into my office. Her mother reported that she had had a history of physical aggression. This included fighting and disrespect towards her peers and teachers. As I reviewed the client’s history I considered all that I had learned in my clinical experience as well as my anger management course from Anderson and Anderson. Specifically that anger is an emotion that is often learned from others in the family.

As I probed this clients history more her mother reported a past diagnosis of PTSD. “PTSD?” is said. Why? Then she confirmed my suspicions. She described a history of domestic violence in the family. The mother went on to note that her daughter was often in home when her father was being aggressive toward her mother. I have had the same experience with children many times over the years in practice. I will go further to say that if a child presents with anger problems my experiences leads me to I expect that he/she was seen multiple incidences of inappropriate anger in his lifetime

This is the domino effect – children will do what they see done. So the next time you think about flipping someone off on the highway or have anger fit at home, remember that they are watching. If you need help controlling your own anger if for no other reason but you want the best for you children visit and contact an anger management provider in your area.


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